Here is our coverage of the What Hi-Fi? Show 2018, Bengaluru Edition:-
Naturally the AV distribution heavyweights based out of Bengaluru were present in full force, starting off with:
Cinebels had taken 2 giant state rooms, one of which was showcasing Klipsch – Stereo, Home Theatre, Portable and Outdoor Speakers. Also on display were Vivitek Projectors.
There was a complete Dolby Atmos setup of Klipsch speakers with a 4K Vivitek Model No. HK2288 projector producing crisp pictures in a partially lit room.
The vintage looking Klipsch Forte III heritage speakers coupled with Primaluna tube amp sound was crisp yet edgy and loud with punch. The experience of heavy but tight bass!
Klipsch ‘The Sixes’ powered speakers had very impressive sound for their size. Garden / outdoor speakers were also on demo. There was a nicely arranged wall of Kilpsch speakers on static display. Various in wall / in ceiling speakers, bluetooth speakers were also on display.
The other room was a Jamo room – showcasing a big variety of speakers on demo. Of course the most eye catching pair were the flagship R909’s that too in Rosso Red! Unfortunately, the R909’s were only on static display.
Jamo is currently doing something on the visual front too as we liked the grey grill on white speakers. Similar to the Klipsch speakers layout, Jamo speakers were showcased and on demo in a home theatre, stereo environments. A soundbar and some bluetooth speakers were also on demo/display.
Pro-Fx showed it’s presence with a state room and 2 other rooms. Loads of gear from Denon, KEF and Polk audio were on display. There was really too much to see and experience. We were surprised to see a Denon Turntable Model:DP 300F connected to the KEF LS 50 powered speakers. Also on demo were a Chord Chordette DAC, Denon PMA 2500 NE amplifier and Denon DCD2000AE CD Player.
There was a live demo of Zipato home control and automation. Plenty of models from the likes of Denon AVR’s, KEF and Polk speakers range were on static display. A Polk Audio sound bar and wireless home theatre were also on demo.
Headphone zone was given lobby space in between state rooms and they made good use of it! It was most demo heavy space with a large amount of headphones covering in-ear to over the head, small to big, conventional to open back. Also headphone accessories, DAC’s and special headphone amplifiers were on display. It was one of the most popular exhibition areas of the show.
There were 2 distinct demo’s happening and highlight was Meridian digital speakers. Music was fed via ipad, still it sounded really good. There also was a demo of Domotz Pro Remote Network Monitoring Software and Network Management System. On static display were Barco home theatre projector and networking equipment of Niveo. Artcoustic and Nordkraft speakers / audio equipment were on static display.
TCS AG is a German hi quality manufacturer or switches, safety and related products. On display were switches with number of finishes options, as well as digital locks.
The usual suspects (Brands) were present and showcased yet again. PMC twenty5.24 Speakers with Octave V40SE Integrated Valve Amplifier + Octave Black Box Outboard Power Supply and AVM CD 5.2T CD Player. Keeping the horrible room acoustics accompanied by the added ‘Noise Floor’(Pun heavily intended), the Nexus Audio team yet again pulled out the veritable rabbit out of their hat, which we are now so accustomed to. We appreciate their ‘out of the box’ thinking(yet another pun heavily intended) and hope that they continue to maintain their lofty standards in future as well.
Little Nap Designs Pvt. Ltd.:
Many comfortable recliners on display. New finishes mimicking luxury car seats were on display.
India’s home grown home / hotel automation giant. It was only presentation room very few products on display. They had a nice presentation of Casa Digi capabilities by their team.
One room had Amina invisible speakers and Acoustic Energy speakers on display. What we were impressed with was the very tiny Acoustic Energy powered satellite subwoofer. It is designed to be placed on a table top and for it’s size and footprint, dished out full bodied sound.
The second room can easily be recalled as a muscle room as it had Bryston gear powering Audio Vector towers. The set-up consisted of Bryston – BP17³ Preamplifier, 4B³ Power Amplifier and BCD-3 CD Player were paired with Audio Vector SR3 Avantgarde
The ever enthusiastic demo personnel was keen to showcase what this set up could do as far as spl delivering capabilities are concerned and truly turned up with volume on a Rammstein track. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves to say the least, much to the chagrin of the big boss of Rivera International. This was one crazy setup showcasing what amplifier power and it’s grip on speakers is all about!
MZ Audio Distribution:
MZ audio was present in 2 adjacent rooms – one for home theatre demo room with Marantz AVR and Q acoustic speakers. Morel speakers were on static display. The other room was a dedicated stereo demo room where the flagship Taga harmony bookshelves were displayed with flagship Marantz CD player and Amplifier. On static display were Audica multiroom solutions and in wall / on wall speakers.
Possibly the most talked about room as they displayed a headphone system costing ‘hold your breath’ 45 lakh rupees! The demo was availed by prior appointment only. We agree that it was one of the most relaxed demo ever. The headphone amplifier was mystical with automatic opening headphone cover and retracting valves. The sound was fantastic, but did it justify the price? That is the moot point and we leave it to being as subjective as ever!
The name synonymous with recliners, demoed a couple of luxury recliners. The price was high but real supple leather was really showcasing quality, feel and comfort.
Milan Sales Corporation:
The Indian screen specialist. There were 3 screens on which stunning visuals were projected. There was an innovative concept of the art screen, which basically is a retractable second screen on screen that you can custom print any image of your choice. It adds aesthetic appeal as well as help protecting the ‘real’ screen.
Reflex Audio is speaker manufacturer based out of Kolhapur, Maharashtra. On demo was a 7.2 demo kit comprising of satellite speakers with two subwoofers. This is what most of the HT buyer wants, decent sound with PUNCH at a going to be announced very attractive and VFM pricing. We shall update on the pricing once the Reflex Audio team provides the same to us.
The LG room was at the extreme end and probably hardly visited due to it’s nondescript location/lack of signage, packed surprising visuals. On demo were 2 OLED flagship TV’s equipped with AI, offering jaw dropping stunning visuals.
Audio Note India:
Audio note is an audio manufacturer from UK making all the components used in their products in house, including some the capacitors and resistors used. This is attention to detail of highest order. Here, the demo was mostly aided by a Turntable and this was one of the best sounding rooms of the show.
Luxury Personified LLP:
Portable audio and headphones is one of the hottest category in audio growing at a phenomenal pace. Luxury Personified LLP was present in four rooms with 3 rooms being dedicated to portable audio. Highlight of these rooms was the Devialet room which was decorated like a hi- end club in which the white phantom speakers were dishing out high levels of ‘club’ sound. There was one room for Ultimate Ears bluetooth speakers and what we liked was that they actually immersed one speaker in water to show it’s waterproof capability! The third room was dedicated to Marshal bluetooth speakers and headphones where the retro themed scenarios were a treat to watch. The fourth room had some good looking audio from Piega on demo, which sadly we could not get an opportunity to listen to.
As in every season, newer and more comfortable recliners were showcased. What we really liked was a recliner couch with individual adjustments.
There were two adjacent rooms and many projectors on display. Highlight were the 4K projector models W11000H and X12000 with crisp pictures.
Pandam Professional Audio:
The majority of Genelec brand of speakers were showcased, notably the G Series and the newest series ‘The Ones’ along with their range of complementing subwoofers. We have heard them plenty of times and so nothing much to say other than if you know how Genelec speakers sound then you know what these speakers are capable of.
Pilakal Home Cinemas:
Being Bengaluru based dealers of Definitive Technology and Parasound brands, they showcased an HT demo comprising of these brands.
Distributor of Profigold, Bandridge, Valueline, Thonet & Vander, Sweex. Thonet & Vander speakers were on display, offering good sound for their price.
There were Full HD and 4k projectors on display, notably the TW650, TW5650 and LS10000, which incidentally is soon going to be replaced by the LS10500. The TW6700 model as seen in the picture was on demo.
KEI were ‘present’ at the show by means of a solitary standee that was strategically placed as well as having their rep doing the rounds at the show. We liked this ‘invisible yet visible’ presence of theirs!
Bengaluru’s and neighboring areas HT chain of stores was there with a strategy of showcasing as many products as was possible in one room. It was a litter of Focal speaker’s models at varying price points with an Accuphase amplifier being the jewel in the veritable mish-mash of equipment. Visitors (primarily existing customers of DNI) were impressed by HT demo as well as soundbar demo.
With that, we end our show coverage of the What HiFi Show 2018, Bengaluru. As is our perennial practice of covering each show taking place in India, we always state the facts, first and foremost as AV enthusiasts and second, as being part of the media responsible for providing an impartial coverage of what we experienced at the show. We would also like to add our observations of the show as the final curtain drop on the show coverage, as under:
Overall, the current Bengaluru What HiFi Show was better than the last one, though the number of end users including HiFi/ HT enthusiasts was remarkably less than what was desired by both, the show organizer’s as well as the exhibitors. We nonetheless appreciate the efforts of the show organizer’s team for ensuring a well organized and managed show.
We find it very strange that on one hand we have end users bitterly complaining on AV forums of the lack of avenues to see and hear various brands officially available in India but on the other hand these people do not attend such shows arranged specifically to cater to them. Due to this worrying aspect, we really do not see the viability of having such a show taking place in a vibrant city like Bengaluru in the future.
The hotel used as the venue of the show is quite good and relatively easily accessible to visitors, which is good but we noticed a couple of the rooms assigned to the exhibitors had peculiar issues with regard to the flooring. Having creaking and noisy loose wood planks was a huge irritant not only for the exhibitors but also to the visitors to those rooms as they robbed the pleasure of listening to a particular set up sans any ‘background’ sounds. A total disaster for the intended purpose of an AV show!
We were also expecting more exhibitors taking part in this show, notably the distributors of certain brands that are based in the southern regions of our country. A plausible reason for their non participation could be due to the fact that another competing show was to take place in Chennai later on in September this year. Nonetheless, we hope to see more exhibitors taking part in future shows so that the brands usually not visible other than the comfort zone areas of their distribution companies are visible and experienced by one and all attending such shows.
We now look forward to the next What HiFi show, hoping it to be even better than before! Thank you.